The following humor may be too soon for some. This is an obtuse call to address education deficiencies during the coronavirus pandemic. Some facts may be exaggerated for the sake of amusement.
This year many school districts put our children in a petri dish experiment for remote classrooms. How’s that working out? Well, most numbers are up… except the grade point averages.
The government mailed out a stimulus check to everyone that is just enough to buy a new iPhone. It came in handy since more parents are becoming internet technology professionals in their own homes. They solve math equations like: With 100 megabits per second, three children and six devices, how much bandwidth does each child have for remote learning? Parents should receive class credits for setting up these WiFi networks.
One mother came home after the first day of class, eager to check in on her fifth grader’s remote education progress.
Mom: “Tell me, how did it go?”
Son: “Well, I got all my questions about human anatomy answered.”
Mom: “Anatomy, what else did you learn?”
Son: “I learned how to hide my screen in less than 2 seconds.”
There is valid concern over child exploitation and children watching explicit material. It is a difficult subject to broach because mentioning the word “child” and the problem in one sentence flags your material as inappropriate. The warning morphs into an instruction manual for minors.
Monitoring students at home is challenging for remote teachers. When I was in grade school, a disruptive child was sent to the principal’s office. There, a long paddle hung on the wall. That paddle struck fear in the minds of rambunctious children. Occationally, it struck them in the behind. With remote classrooms, the most threatening thing a teacher can do is mute the child’s audio.
Colleges and universities opened doors to students so they could get the “college experience.” There were posters on the walls, social-distancing decals on the floors, and soap in the dispensers. Students settle into their dorms where they stretch out on their bed, open their laptop, and login to class.
They are instructed to wear masks and social distance everywhere except during beer pong at Bif's frat party. With all the restrictions, many students feel they need a break, particularly during spring. College Covid numbers are up too—not the GPA.
Remote learning has raised many questions in the minds of parents and students: Should I continue watching the instructor when the audio and video are out of sync? Can I use the excuse that my dog ate my homework when everything is digital? Is it worth mortgaging my future for what amounts to daily YouTube streams?
Senior graduation ceremonies are quite different. Schools experiment with drive-up diploma collection, at-home celebrations, and proxy robots. The preferred replacement for cap and gown is now the Apple Card.
We learn from this experiment that there are problems with both in-person and online learning during the pandemic. It takes maturity, ingenuity, greater patience, and more mask wearing to pass the pandemic test. In summary, adults need more education to monitor children and students need to behave more like adults.
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- Alarming failure rates among Texas students fuel calls to get them back into classrooms. texastribune.org
- Concern grows that kids' exposure to explicit content may spike during coronavirus crisis. justthenews.com
- Parents worry about children using distance learning devices to watch pornography. kval.com
- Serious COVID–19 outbreaks hit California colleges despite intense preparation. latimes.com
- 4 higher education experts on how COVID–19 is upending the college experience. fastcompany.com
- COVID-19 and the college experience. kevinmd.com
- COVID-19 Outbreak Among College Students After a Spring Break Trip to Mexico—Austin, Texas, March 26–April 5, 2020. cdc.gov
- Colleges scrap spring break to limit coronavirus spread. educationdive.com
- Robots replace Japanese students at graduation amid coronavirus. reuters.com
- Main photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.
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